Don’t call us…

By Kelli Stevens

The phone rings and a sense of dread settles in the pit of your stomach. No, you’re not starring in a sequel to Scream–you’re suffering the aftershocks of giving out your phone number. While supplying your number can result in great conversation, entertaining dates, and even a satisfying relationship, it seems that it can also result in ringing-induced headaches.

If it’s the latter that describes your life, you’re not alone.

In a moment of weakness, it often seems easiest to just give in when someone utters the words “Can I have your number?” Unfortunately, dispensing your digits can mean that the following days (or, God forbid, weeks or months) will be anything but easy.

Maybe that’s the price to pay for not being honest and up-front. As someone with a) a difficulty in admitting I’m not interested in someone and b) a phone number that spells an interesting acronym, I’ve given out my number more times than I care to recall. Unfortunately, my would-be suitors cared to re-call quite a bit.

The Curse of the Constant Caller began with a small town cowboy who was visiting Calgary. Amazingly, he managed to call five times in the hour after we met (also amazingly, he did this from a different location each time). The curse spread to classmates.

By the semester’s end, I suffered a fate worse than finals as calls came in with unwanted dinner, coffee and movie invitations. While my roommates entertained themselves by putting the calls through with glee (these girls use call display for evil, not good), I lost sleep trying to think of new ways to “just say no.” It continues to astound me that people don’t pick up on the real meaning of “don’t call me, I’ll call you”.

Upon meeting Jon last summer at a motorcycle class, I was so sick of phone related hassle that I kept silent about my interestingly-acronymed number. A mutual friend, however, did not.

The ringing in my apartment was soon louder and more constant than the ringing in the ears of a cougar at the Back Alley. But I still hadn’t learned my lesson and agreed to a date. Atop the Calgary Tower, I decided that Jon was an okay guy and seeing more of him could be a good thing.

Jon thought so too, and I’m assuming that’s why he attempted to break all the “rules” for new couples. He began decreasing the distance between us faster than Students’ Union hopefuls throw around election-related accusations. Needing my space, I took a few steps back–far enough back that I strengthened my resolve to tell him that I just wasn’t interested anymore.

Jon took it well and we parted ways… or so I thought.

As we near the end of February, he still sends regular emails, MSN messages and, of course, phone calls. The Curse of the Constant Caller remains and I now keep my number to myself. Professor Will Holden would be proud to know I’m taking his advice and only ever giving out the following number: 299-7878.

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